Star of the 2022 Netflix breakout hit Heartstopper Joe Locke has criticized his home nation for their “archaic rules” when it comes to blood donations. And the Isle of Man has listened.
On the Isle of Man, the small island nation sandwiched between Great Britain and Ireland, gay men will soon be allowed to donate blood on the same terms as their British neighbours. And all thanks to Heartstopper actor Joe Locke.
Saturday’s Isle of Pride event saw thousands of people celebrate the island’s LGBTQ+ community in the Villa Marina gardens.
During a video salute to the local Pride festival, Locke took the opportunity to complain about rules that stood in the way of rainbow blood.
“The island has come a long way in the last 30 years,” Locke said in his message.
“But there is still much to do. The Isle of Man does not yet allow gay men to donate blood, an archaic rule that began during the AIDS pandemic. These rules have slowly changed in the UK since then, allowing homosexuals to donate blood under certain circumstances. But not here on the island.”
Since 2017 men in the UK who have not had sex with another man for three months are allowed to donate blood, with anyone with the same sexual partner for three months or more eligible to donate since last year.
Joe Locke goes on to say that a review of the laws began in 2014, with a promise that the policy would be re-evaluated.
“But nothing has happened for over six years,” he said.
Currently, the rules state that men who have sex with men are completely barred from donating blood in the Isle of Man.
But apparently, Locke’s speech was just what was needed to wake up the politicians. Just a few days after the 18-year-old actor’s speech, the BBC reported that the rules are to be updated.
The goal now is for the island to update its rules before 2023 and follow the UK, where men who live in a monogamous relationship or have only had a sexual partner in the last 3 months are allowed to donate blood.
Netflix announced in May that Heartstopper will return for two more seasons, produced by See-Saw Films.
Last Updated on Aug 18, 2022